A U-TURN to scrap car parking charges is being celebrated by traders.
Concerns had been voiced for Buckley town centre’s future if controversial parking charges were brought in, including on Brunswick Road next to the town centre.
At the 11th hour, the proposed charges at council-run car parks were scrapped at Flintshire Council’s budget meeting on Friday.
In recent weeks hundreds of shoppers, residents and traders signed petitions appealing for Flintshire Council to abandon the planned charges.
Marjorie Hill, of Claire House Children’s Hospice on Brunswick Road, had feared stocks could plummet if motorists were charged to park at the nearby car park.
She said: “It is absolutely fantastic news they will not be charging people to park there.
“It would have had a huge impact and we would have been one of the worst-hit places.
“I wish to thank everybody who has supported our campaign and our local councillors have been fantastic.”
Jim Cooper, of Right Price Carpets on Brunswick Road, said: “I am made up to hear this.
“We were very worried about what impact the parking charges could have had on our town centre. It could have been the final nail in the coffin.
“It is very pleasing they have changed their minds on this decision.”
Cllr Richard Jones was opposed to the plans along with a large number of other Buckley councillors.
He said: “I am very pleased there will not be car parking charges coming in.
“However, I believe this decision should have been taken earlier. It has caused residents and traders a great deal of anxiety.”
The change of plan over car parking charges will not only affect Buckley.
Car parks in Connah’s Quay and Flint had also been earmarked for charges to be brought in but these will also not come into effect.
Parking charges are currently in force in Mold and Holywell.
However, the charges are to be reviewed in Mold and will be withdrawn in Holywell from October.
Holywell councillor Peter Curtis said he had been fighting against car parking charges since being introduced in the early 1990s.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted about this. It is something I have been banging the drum about for quite some time.
“To the people of Holywell it has been a big issue for many years and has meant they have faced a lot of messing about having to find money to pay to park. It has put people off.
“I hope this decision will be a big change for the town. I would not say it has been the only contributor to people not coming to Holywell, but has certainly been a major contributor.
“I thank the administration for listening to us and for taking this decision.”
Flintshire Council’s cabinet approved the car parking charges last month, only for the unexpected change of policy at the budget meeting.
Cllr Bernie Attridge, deputy leader of Flintshire Council, said: “We didn’t take the decision lightly. We listened to the people of Holywell and Buckley and thought it was only right that we reversed the decision.”